Wild horses face a lot of stress during a helicopter roundup and the subsequent separation from their families andpotential lifelong incarceration. For more information on just how damaging this process can be, you can read Washington University's Bruce Nock, PhD's report "Wild Horses - The Stress of Captivity."
Short-Term Holding Report: Salt Lake Wild Horse & Burro Facility
From Lisa Friday's full report on the squalid conditions she saw at the BLM Salt Lake Wild Horse & Burro facility outside Herriman, Utah is available here in PDF format. View the Cloud Foundation video of Lisa's footage here
What is Bait Trapping?
In 2006, I observed bait trapping atop the Pryor Mountains using mineral blocks for bait. A round pen was set up above the spring-fed waterhole. The pen had a gate that could be remotely triggered to close. Mountain lions were lured to the area by the high concentration of wild horses around the trap. I would estimate that 100 horses at one time or another visited the immediate trap site.
Cloud's little son, Dusty, was killed by a mother lion with kits, as was Cloud's little sister, Gemini. There was a tremendous amount of fighting over the mineral blocks placed in the round pen. Cloud's brother, Diamond, was nearly killed and many horses showed the marks and scars of scrapping over the additive blocks. The area around the trap was denuded and has yet to be restored by BLM.
Bait trapping is not as dangerous as a helicopter roundup but it certainly has its own set of risks.
Slaughter of Healthy Wild Horses in Holding?
Documents Reveal BLM Secret Plan to Destroy Wild Horses
Documents obtained from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) via the Freedom of Information Act by a Phoenix-based non-profit, The Conquistador Program, reveal shocking and detailed plans to destroy healthy wild horses in government holding facilities as well as those still remaining in the wild on public lands. Read the rest of the press release here.
June 11, 2009 - for immediate release - Documents obtained by the Freedom of Information Act:
BLM Alternative Management Options Draft Plan + Markup
BLM Implementation Team minutes + markup